Are you caught in the vicious circle of smoking, boozing, eavesdropping, thumb sucking, nail biting or gambling? Some wise man had rightly said, “Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out off.” Bad habits are hard to get off, but that is no excuse to retain them any way. Apart from sabotaging your social and personal image, bad habits can be highly detrimental to your professional growth too. While some habits can be life threatening, others like nail biting, nose picking or grinding teeth can simply drive people away from you. Now you don’t want that happening, do you? Also you don’t want to be tilted a ‘chimney’ for your excessive smoking, ‘gossip queen’ for your overwhelming communication skills, or pointed at for you unhygienic ways. Everything you do is up to you, so you should work towards breaking those bad habits before they break you. Again, as said before, bad habits are like old shoes, extremely tough to get rid of. Replacing bad habits with new good ones shall get you started. Easier said than done! Well, if nothing else, at the least you will feel more confident than before.
Breaking Bad Habits
Breaking those habits, which are such a vital part of your life, can be easier said than done. However, if you have inculcated those habits, there sure is a way to get rid of them too.
Introspection—Why You Need To Change
The first step would be to realize the right reason as to why you need to ward off the habit. Is it harming anyone, is it irritating other people around or is it harming you? A strong realization that you really ‘need’ to change this part of your life can be the most important initial step. Reminding yourself that you ‘need to fit into your old jeans so that you can look like the sexy mother you had imagined yourself to be’ would be probably more effective than just telling yourself that ‘you need to lose weight’. Considering the fact that you will be giving yourself slow death and bad skin because of the excessive smoking, which is higher in degree than the temporary pleasure it provides is a good introspection.
Keep A Good Company
You are usually pulled into the bad habits because you are in the company of people doing it. You would be tempted to drink at odd times or indulge into gambling because the people around you are doing it. So stay away from such company as much as possible. For instance, if you want to quit smoking, you can’t possibly hang around with smokers the whole day. Try to surround yourself with people you aspire to become as much as possible.
Replace It With Something Else
Come up with a new activity that could replace the one you are trying to give up. When you try to break these old ways of living, you will need new ways to fulfill these needs. Replacing your old ways with a hobby or something you enjoy could keep your mind diverted. Instead of having cookies, munch on carrot sticks instead. Instead of the smoke you were so much addicted to, try chewing gums instead. If waking up early is what you have been trying to do, then replace the precious sleep with a strict gym schedule.
The Constant Reminder
Write your bad habits and place the note somewhere where you will see it at least ten times a day. A constant reminder of the bad habit will help you forego it easily. On your fridge, on your desk, on the bathroom door, or maybe as the wallpaper of your desktop your working on—such constant reminders will only strengthen your resolve. Having goals set in the mind can be easier to ignore but when something is in print, it is harder to overlook it.
Keep It Simple
Surround your breaking habit exercise with two or three simple rules. Don’t overburden yourself with too many rules though. Too many rules mean more headaches and better the chances of you bouncing back to your old ways. If cookies are what you plan to eliminate for something healthy like carrots, then there is no reason for you to tell yourself to have a whole carrot or two every day. It’s enough you are slacking those Chocó chip cookies and Oreos for the carrots. Yes it’s quite big a deal on its own.
You have all the right to reward yourself for sticking to the goals you have set for yourself. If you kept yourself from a bad habit, then go ahead and reward yourself. That certainly doesn’t mean that if you want to give up smoking, you reward yourself with a smoke after two weeks of staying away from it. That can only trigger back your negative desire. A reward like the leverage to use your savings to buy the video game you have been longing for or giving your friend 100 bucks which should only be returned after you have crossed the next milestone would be excellent way to give yourself the push you need.
At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. Giving up your bad habits makes the most amount of difference to you. Whether it is your health, career or your social life, your habits are a direct influence on your living. Therefore, you should have the self-control and the willingness. Forgetting your goals and losing yourself are common in this long race, but coming back to the thinking process and resetting your targets is important. It’s absolutely natural as habits are created and broken by repetition, but your ability and readiness to jump-start the program is what matters the most to get rid of bad habits.